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DONATE NOW: Because of you, a vision to help the community continues on

Help us reach our largest goal yet, 5 million meals.
Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 7:15 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 12, 2020 at 8:35 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - NBC15 Share Your Holidays campaign is in its 25th year to eliminate hunger in Southwestern Wisconsin.

Year after year, NBC15 has asked the community to raise meals for Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, which serves 16 counties.

This year we are asking our largest goal yet, five million meals, and because of you, we know it is possible.

The NBC15 Share Your Holidays campaign officially kicked off on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., beginning with a virtual happy hour.

HOW WE GOT HERE

There’s been record-breaking successes in the NBC15 Share Your Holidays campaign for 24 years.

The campaign started on a snowy December morning in 1996. It was a single day food drive, an idea created by NBC15 late anchor Mike McKinney.

“It was very cold conditions, he was jolly and himself, a happy go lucky guy on the air,” Pam Tauscher says, as she looks back on how her co-anchor began his vision. “People loved him, they showed up and it was a success.”

Roughly 50,000 meals were raised, and the campaign continued to grow afterwards. It is now a nearly two-month long campaign raising not thousands, but millions of meals.

“He was so passionate about it, he willed it into life,” Tauscher said. “Did anyone dream it would keep going for 25 years? I don’t think anyone, but Mike did.”

Mike’s inspiration came from his own experience growing up in St. Louis, Missouri. He didn’t want people to experience hunger like he did.

“We did have some difficult times as Mike was growing up,” says Barbara McKinney, Mike’s mother. " I was a single mother at the time, and I did not know the struggles I was going through as a single mom."

Mike passed away in 2006 from colon cancer, but his legacy continues with NBC15 Share Your Holidays campaign. His spirit lives on in the “Be Like Mike Award,” which is given to those who stand out for giving back to the community.

“It would literally blow his mind,” says Barbara. “He would be more impressed with the collaboration that has developed Share Your Holidays, and how so many people got involved and engaged.”

Because of you, Mike’s legacy continues beyond a snowy parking lot, to helping thousands of people who struggle with hunger in Southwestern Wisconsin.

KICKOFF SPECIAL

We’re hosting a virtual campaign kickoff this year and we’re inviting you to be a part of it.

You can register for it for free. The Morning Show Team will be there to chat with you on Zoom at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

At 7 p.m., tune-in to NBC15, Channel 15.1, for our live, 30-minute special.

You can contribute to the cause by bidding on the items in our virtual auction. The bidding closes at 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

People can also donate right now, by clicking here.

We couldn’t have gotten this far without help from the community, and because of you people who you may never meet, are given a little light as they get through dark times and struggles in their life.

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